Howard Delo

Moose season in the Valley opened this past Tuesday, Aug. 25, and will continue until Sept. 25. With the moose season comes the fall rains. The weather forecast I saw this evening had predictions of rain or rain showers into the middle of next week. We could always use the rain, but sometimes enough is enough. During moose season, it could rain almost every day!

As usual, I’m not ready to go hunting yet. Among other things, I still need to sight in my rifles, after I decide which ones I want to use this year. Yes, I have more than one and I enjoy using the different calibers. I’ve got a CZ 550, Mannlicher-stocked 30-06 that I haven’t hunted with yet.

I’ve got a military surplus Moisin-Nagant model 38 in 7.62x54R that I have in a synthetic stock. I mounted a scope on the rifle and had the bolt altered to work with the mounted scope. I figure I’ll use this rifle if I’m hunting on a rainy day for several reasons: it’s surprisingly accurate, it’s inexpensive if something would happen to it, and it’s basically weatherproof. Its function is designed to be foolproof and will work even if run over by a tank!

I also have a custom 98 Mauser-actioned 7x57 in a synthetic Mannlicher-style stock that has been weatherproofed to withstand the Kodiak weather when I lived and worked in that area. I’ve harvested a lot of deer with this rifle and I have complete confidence in this firearm for hunting.

I don’t usually get too excited about hunting moose until the last couple of weeks of the season. The leaves are mostly down, improving visibility in the woods, and what few bugs are around aren’t very active because of the cooler temperatures at night. Plus, the bulls are coming into rut and moving around more. They will respond better to calling too.

While I’m slow to get ready for moose season, I’m trying to get a jump on the winter ice fishing season. I have most all the gear I need and now am looking at ways to refine things.

A couple of years ago, when returning to my truck after an afternoon of icefishing, I found my brand new, 10-inch propane ice auger missing from my tow-behind sled. I backtracked my route and found the auger back where we had been fishing. Another angler was there and had picked up the auger. He figured whoever lost it would come looking and there I was. I thanked him and tied the auger more securely into the sled. I needed a better way to carry the auger.

Later that spring, I purchased an ice auger mount that I thought would work on my snowmachine. I was trying to mount it the other day when I realized it wouldn’t work on my machine. It fit very well on the front rack of my four-wheeler, however, so all is not lost. If we have a low snow year, I’m good to go using wheels instead of skis and a track.

I went online to look for an auger mount better suited to my snowmachine. I found a couple that looked like they might work. After watching YouTube videos on both, I decided on one that was easier to attach to the back rack on my machine. I looked at the dealer locator on the website and found three different retail dealers listed in the Wasilla area.

I called the first and the employee who took the call didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, even when I listed the name of the mount and the manufacturer. The second retailer answered about the same – nobody knew what I wanted, and they didn’t have it anyway. I never talked with the third retailer because I hung up after listening to several minutes of why I needed to wear a mask if I went to that store. When the recording started to repeat the same stuff in Spanish, I terminated the call!

I looked on Ebay and they didn’t have the specific model I needed. A quick check of Amazon turned up the correct model, in stock, at a modestly reduced price over normal retail. I placed the order. Sometimes, trying to buy locally just doesn’t work out!

I suspect Andy Couch has already mentioned this, but a nice shot of late silvers has arrived in the Little Susitna and fishing regulations have returned to normal for the rest of the season.

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